A 24‑year‑old Sonoma Valley woman struggling with the trauma of an Easter Sunday sexual assault continued Tuesday to work with detectives trying to find the man who attacked her as she jogged in a popular area north of Sonoma.
“She’s pretty traumatized. We’re working with her to try and get a little bit more information. The information is coming slowly,” said Sonoma County sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Crum Tuesday.
Deputies and detectives are looking for a man in his 50s, with a bushy white beard. She described him as wearing dark-colored clothing and a black beanie. And she thought he could be homeless, saying the man smelled bad and was wearing dirty jeans.
A small number of homeless people are known to camp in the area where the assault was reported. There is no one large encampment but deputies find people usually alone or in pairs dispersed across the brushy hillside, Crum said. City water department employees who head up into the hills to check on water tanks also at times find tents and signs of small camps.
“There are homeless people who live up in the hills, a person here or there. We clean them up all the time,” Crum said. “The victim described the guy as homeless and there is a homeless shelter down the road, next to the police department. We’re investigating and looking into all possibilities.”
Early Sunday afternoon, the woman was running on Norrbom Road near the Sonoma Overlook Trail. She told deputies that a man yelled at her, then pushed her down and fell on top of her. He reportedly punched her multiple times in the face and reached under her clothing, attempting to rape her, according to Crum. She fought back and ran, calling for help.
Norrbom Road is the extension of downtown’s First Street West. At the base of the hill, at the start of Norrbom Road, are youth baseball fields, the police station and Depot Park. The road heads steeply into the hills above northern Sonoma. At Mountain Cemetery is the trail head for the 3-mile overlook path, offering sweeping views of the Sonoma Valley.
You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 707‑521-5412 or firstname.lastname@example.org.